Takeaways from Week 12 Game Film (Fantasy Football)
Chances are that you saw Chris Godwin‘s circus catch and heard about Stephon Gilmore absolutely shutting Amari Cooper down, but my goal today is to tell you about some tidbits you may have missed from a fantasy perspective. I went back through and watched every play of every game. I saw the Thursday night game and three Sunday games live then used NFL Game Pass to see the other 8 contests this morning. Let’s do this!
I wouldn’t get too excited about Rashaad Penny
Pete Carroll said Penny looked like he was shot out of a cannon. Remember when Sean McVay said the same garbage about Darrell Henderson, Jerry Jones about Tony Pollard and even Andy Reid about both Carlos Hyde and Darwin Thompson? Sometimes coaches just say things to motivate another player; in this case, Chris Carson. It is clear that Carson is the better runner and is and it isn’t even close. Perhaps in saying this and benching him for a week or two, Carson will stop fumbling and have fresh legs come playoff time. But what I saw out of Penny wasn’t exciting. First of all, he is quite possibly the worst pass blocker I’ve seen all year. Wow, it was bad! But then there is also the fact that he looks like the jumbo version of 2018 C.J. Anderson. Penny has deceptive straight-line speed but there isn’t much else to his game. Neither his 26 nor 58-yard runs were products of his ability. The 26-yarder was a plain ole’ blown containment by the right defensive end. The 58-yarder was blocked perfectly with a great hole opening up five yards downfield. At that point, his speed beat one safety who took a poor angle. Folks, there is some upside here because of the situation, but much like Isaiah Crowell‘s big runs in 2018, it would be wise to temper expectations a little.
Sam Darnold is a legitimate franchise QB
I know, Jets’ fans, it can be difficult to get your hopes up because you are so convinced they’ll be crushed again only weeks later. This is different though. When you watch Joe Burrow play on Sundays and wish to yourself, “I wish we had just waited two years and taken him!” I want you to remember that Darnold is 6 months YOUNGER. Imagine Darnold playing in the NCAA this year and he’d be shredding them to. My point is that this kid is still extremely young while he is dominating NFL competition. And yes, I meant dominating. Look, it’s fun to rag on the Jets and Darnold looked awful coming off mono (because, well, duh) but over the past month, he has been extraordinarily impressive despite a lackluster receiving core and an absolutely horrendous offensive line ahead of him. Based on what I’ve been seeing, I’ve got no hesitation in ranking him among my top 12 QBs the next two weeks versus Cinncinati and Miami.
For those of you out of contention, file this away for next year
Saquon Barkley should be the second overall pick next year. He won’t be, of course. It will be Dalvin Cook, followed by Michael Thomas, Ezekiel Elliott, Aaron Jones and four or five others. I’m telling you, he is a better running back touch for touch than Christian McCaffrey or anyone else in football. His tape is still jaw-dropping, but there are three major differences that should all be temporary: First, the Giants’ offensive line is a complete nightmare. Perhaps they will never fix it, I don’t know, but it is difficult to imagine them not at least improving to 2018’s level since they have such a glaring hole in the early first round since they have already own a young QB. The other two come down to his shoulder injury. Barkley has refused to sit out the remainder of the season, but that doesn’t mean he can handle a full workload while he nurses it. That should return next year along with the most important part; they aren’t using him at all in the passing game. He scampered for a 65-yard run three weeks ago, but besides that, he has been non-existant because his shoulder is preventing him from being the player he actually is. Don’t forget this just how good he is, friends.
Please don’t panic on Carson Wentz, Tom Brady or Dak Prescott
Yes, all three had lousy games and yes, Wentz is dealing with a bruised finger and Brady with an elbow injury, but the conditions were such a strong factor in these games that their performances should be ignored. When you are throwing into the wind or with the wind to your back, you have to adjust your throw entirely. Switching back and forth the entire game surely cost Wentz a touchdown as he absolutely air-mailed Miles Sanders for a wide-open touchdown. Likewise, Brady and Prescott’s results had little to do with how they actually played, which frankly was quite impressive considering the weather and especially their opponents. Rather, imagine being a wide receiver trying to create separation when you can hardly plant your foot to cut. The only one who was consistently able to run routes that weren’t slow and rounded off was Julian Edelman, and we all know he is just an alien.
- Jakobi Meyers should be owned as upside WR5s to stash on your bench
- Golden Tate is still the slot receiver with Sterling Shepard back and moving outside
- You may want to check in case Royce Freeman was dropped in your league. He led Denver in snaps
- Anthony Miller is quietly really good and is finally getting snaps
- Your monthly reminder: If Ronald Jones had a line and consistent snaps, he’d be a fringe-star RB
- The entire Patriots offensive line looked better with Isaiah Wynn back
- Dwayne Haskins cost Terry McLaurin about a dozen fantasy points. Don’t forget about McLaurin next summer
- Likewise, Kelvin Harmon looks like a good one too once he finally gets consistent snaps and a decent QB
- Derrius Guice will be a perfect sell-high when Washington moves on from AP this off-season. Guice isn’t the same RB he once was
- Kaden Smith is a name to keep in mind for future weeks if you need a tight end streamer
- A.J. Brown looks like a bigger version of Golden Tate. He is well worth acquiring in dynasty leagues
- Tyler Boyd is among the most improved receivers in football
- Dynasty special: Kerrith Whyte was one of my favorite sleeper backs and he looked impressive Sunday with Pittsburgh
- Dynasty special: Deon Cain is (still) quite good at football and has a new home